Flying kites in Jerusalem
It was to a land of contrasts that my passion for kites took me in August 2005. I had been invited to spend a week in Israel to display my kites at the annual kite flying event held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. My visit also included the opportunity to visit fascinating sites of geological and historical interest.

The kite event, attended by over 6500 people, was held in the beautiful sculpture garden designed by the American-Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Kite flying commenced under the hot afternoon sun where hundreds of small kites made in the workshops danced above our heads. Several of my large kites were flown high above the olive and fig trees by willing helpers. In the evening the sunset behind Jerusalem provided a spectacular backdrop to the kites and sculptures.

For the three great religions of the Western world, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, Jerusalem is one of the holiest cities. I wandered within the 16th century city walls to see the amazing El-Aksa Mosque with it's gilded dome, the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The sights and spice scents of the souk were equally fascinating.

I took the opportunity to visit the Yad Vashem holocaust museum with it's stunning architecture and sculpture. The museum was a poignant reminder of the horrors of the past. At the end of my week in Israel I visited En-gedi, by the Dead Sea. At 1,300 feet below sea level a float in the warm salty water was impossible to resist. To complete my brief experience of Israel I was later invited by my host to attend an end of Sabbath meal where I gained an insight into Jewish tradition and hospitality.

A lasting memory of Jerusalem was created on the evening of my departure when the sun was casting its last golden rays on the city walls. As I took in the view from the steps of my hotel a single kite appeared above the city and rose gracefully into the evening sky.